NYT – 11:26 (Jeffrey – paper)
CS – untimed (Janie)
Daily Beast – 10:32 (Jeffrey)
LAT – 6:32 (Jeffrey)
BEQ – 6:20 (Jeffrey)
CHE – Published today?
WSJ – Published today?
The Scooby-Fiend team is in full force today.
Paula Gamache’s New York Times Crossword – Jeffrey’s review
Merry Christmas. We’ve got an extra-special holiday puzzle today from Paula Gamache. Its a 15×16, asymetrical Christmas tree shaped grid with an appropriate theme. Oh, and it is Friday level. And I’m Jewish. Oy. This will be interesting.
10D. [1843 work in five "staves"] – A CHRISTMAS CAROL
9A. [One who worked in a "dismal little cell"] – BOB CRATCHIT
24A/35D. [Brother of Master Peter] – TINY TIM
26A/32A. [One subjected to "incessant tortue of remorse"] – GHOST OF JACOB MARLEY
53A. [One who saw his name upon the stone of a neglected grave] – EBENEZER SCROOGE
But wait, there’s more:
25A. [Stocking stuffer] – TOY/48A. [25-Across maker] – ELF
38A. ["Ho, ho, ho," e.g.] – LAUGH
49A. [Repeated part of "Deck the Halls"] – LA LA LA
60A.[Tannenbaum topper] – ENGEL. Tree topper, angel in English.
1D. [Sung parts, as of carols] – VOCALS
16D. ["And Winter Came..." artist] – ENYA (thanks ArtLvr for catching this one)
27D. [Like Santa's bag on Christmas Eve] – FULL
32D. [Sleigh bells and such] – JINGLERS
34D. [Iconic flamers] – YULE LOGS
50D. ["The ANDY Williams Christmas Album"]
This puzzle is so 11D. ["super!] – TERRIF! I may convert.
Martin Ashwood-Smith’s CrosSynergy/Washington Post puzzle, “Hidden Calories”—Janie’s review
There’s another full week with the likelihood of holiday indulging ahead, and Martin has given us a puzzle larded with FAT [Calorie source hidden in all three long entries]. Oof! Loosen the belt another notch as you find it embedded in:
- 20A. WOLF AT THE DOOR [Impending danger, proverbially]. Just think “Little Red Riding Hood” in case the meaning isn’t clear. Great phrase!
- 37A. POWER OF ATTORNEY [Authority to act for another].
- 53A. TIMON OF ATHENS [Shakespeare play]. Note that we get more of the bard today by way of ["Say that thou] DIDST [forsake me..." (Shakespeare)] (Sonnet 89). And here’s Ben Jonson’s [Poetic tribute] ODE to the man.
A good way to work off some of those calories may be by doing some TRIATHLON [Summer Olympics event] training. Running, biking, swimming–fun, right? And look, BeginnerTriathlete.com even has a link that tells you why this kind of training is “the practical way to lose fat”… Then again… if page-turning is more your speed, there’s also the suggestion made by TWICE-TOLD [Like the tales in a Hawthorne title].
With 2010 right around the corner, you may be entertaining the idea of a fresh start. Martin gives us a double assist with DAY ONE [The beginning] and ONSET [Beginning].
He also gives us a SCAD [Whole bunch] of clues and fill that are tied in to marine life/mariners. There’s the OTTER [Playful aquatic animal], the EFTS [Young amphibians], DOGFISHES [Small sharks], [Navy] SEALS [(elite group)], and the punny [Place for buoys and gulls] for our old pal SEA.
Two days ago we saw AGASSI clued as [Two-time U.S. Open champ Andre]. He’s ba-a-a-ack, today clued with respect to one of those two occasions: [1999 U.S. Open champ Andre].
It’s a little cold outside. Time for a SHAWL [Wrap] and a nice cuppa hot COCOA [Drink often served with marshmallows]. Enjoy the day!
Matt Gaffney’s “That’s a Wrap” Daily Beast crossword – Jeffrey’s review
Today’s theme entries are gift-wrapped with a BOW added in:
22A. [Golfer who gets to the bottom of things?] – ERNIE BOWELS. Merry Christmas, breakfast test!
34A. [Another weapon Goliath might have been slain by?] – DAVID CROSSBOW
49A. [Awesome neckwwear find at a thrfit shop?] – BOWTIE SCORE
64A. [Assign responsibility for too much color in the sky?] – BLAME IT ON THE RAINBOW. My favorite answer. Milli Vanilli may not have been the real singers, but that doesn’t make the song any less catchy.
81A. ["Cereal", "spoon" or"soup"?] – THE BOWL WORD. Now this passes the breakfast test, although I don’t think any clips from “The L Word” would.
95A. [Nudge a Mexican singer out of the way?] – ELBOW MARIACHI
109A. [Finish wrapping a Christmas present - or, the theme of this puzzle] – PUT A BOW ON IT
52A. [Westlife's "If I LET You Go"]
63A. [Adams or Cooke] – SAM
85A. [Hedging letters in a for sale ad] – OBO. Or best offer.
88A. [Tiger's Mrs.] – ELIN. Is this clue still valid?
98A. [Toy that elicit an "oy"] – DREIDEL . If you are actually reading a crossword blog today, you already knew this.
106A. [It gets people dancing] – PARTY SONG
119A. [Send a dirty message to] – SEXT. Not in your dictionary (yet).
6D. [Tony Orlando group] – DAWN
11D. [Capital of Canada?] – Ottawa. Wait. HARD C
33D. ["Not to step on anyone's toes here..."] – BUT IF I MAY. 9 letters, 4 words. Cool.
68D. ["WE ARE the Champions"]
40A. [Good way to live] – IN PEACE. A good way to end this review.
Dan Naddor’s Los Angeles Times Crossword – Jeffrey’s review
The Christmas “ANCE” is tacked on to the end of the theme answers:
16A. [Communist revenue management?] – RED FINANCE
21A. [Atonement from a soda jerk?] – FOUNTAIN PENANCE
32A. [Love that blossomed in a music store?] – CD ROMANCE
48A. [Voice of choice?] – FAVORITE SONANCE
55A. [Square up with actor Jack?] – PAY PALANCE)
Tack on 18 seven or eight letters words in the fill and you’ve got one cool puzzle.
A few more:
28A. [Mike famously bit him in a 1997 fight] – EVANDER. Bet you haven’t seen that clue before.
39A. [Old Dodge] –DART/14D. [Old Ford] – PINTO
51A. [Waitress at Mel's] –FLO. Kiss My Grits!
1D. [Some wine containers – CARAFES
10D. [1982 Eddie Rabbitt/Crystal Gale duet] – YOU AND I
4A: [Exhausted, with "out"] – WIPED. I’m WIPED out but there may be more to come.
Brendan Emmett Quigley’s “Returning Gifts” Crossword – Jeffrey’s review
Enough with Christmas! Enough with the breakfast test! Bring on Brendan Emmett Quigley!
Four hidden-backwards-in-circles gifts that bring the cry “I don’t want these anymore”.
20A. [Impossible, like an upset victory] – AGAINST ALL ODDS (DOLL)
25A. [Billboard or The Hollywood Reporter, e.g.] – TRADE MAGAZINE (GAME)
46A. [Traditional Provencal stew] – BOUILLABAISSE (BALL)
54A. [Squelch] – PUT THE KIBOSH ON (BIKE)
53A. [Just read the post and comments, say] – LURK. This was me, once.
67A. [Salinger character who says “I’d be extremely flattered if you’d write a story exclusively for me sometime”] – ESME. A little longer clue next time, please.
3D. [Google competitor] – BING. Wonder if there is a Christmas clue that would have worked here.
7D. [“The Great Gatsby” setting] – EAST EGG. Didn’t know. Too long since I read it.
Hide the children department (yes, I’m editing):
60A. [Retailer whose “Gutvik” children’s bed translates to “good f-ck” in German - IKEA
9D. [Kind of sex] – ORAL
52D. [Hurls] – PUKES
Wait, I can’t end with that.
35D. [“Here we go!”] – WHEE! Enjoy the day.